6 Ways to Manage Grief When a Loved One Dies by Suicide

It is disheartening to turn on the news and hear about another death by suicide. And even worse is that the numbers continue to grow. But imagine what it must be like for those who lost a partner, spouse, sibling, parent, or friend to suicide. They might wonder what their life will be like without them and how they’ll ever manage. There is no describing the devastation and loss when this occurs.

What Survivors Need to Know

It makes sense that survivors would go through tons of emotions losing a loved one to suicide. They’re left to pick up the pieces and can’t understand why this happened. They may have never dealt with grief before and don’t know how they should feel or handle their grieving. So, here are some pointers.

1. It isn’t your fault.

Nothing could prepare survivors for such a tragic situation, even if they received a final goodbye letter. There are now all these unanswered questions. Why did it happen? Is it my fault? Could I have done something differently? However, tragically, even individuals that have support still take their lives. Plus, many hide their suffering. Therefore, it’s important to remind yourself, “I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it.” 

2. Your feelings are valid.

People usually have good intentions when they tell you things will get better, or they get what you are going through. However, your experience is unique to you. So, nobody knows specifically how or what you’re feeling. Nor do they know how long it will or should take you to grieve. There is no set timeline for anyone.

You also have a right to feel every emotion, whether anger, sadness, hurt or even hatred. The most important thing is to ensure these emotions don’t consume your thoughts or prevent you from functioning healthily.

3. Don’t compare yourself to others.

Typically, the five stages of grief go from denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Still, that doesn’t mean survivors will experience every one of them or that they must occur in the exact order. For example, you may experience anger and depression while another person goes through depression and acceptance. Or your stages may fluctuate from anger to denial to depression while another person goes through all five stages. So, remember that it is perfectly normal to experience grief differently from others.

4. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.

Most people will ask questions out of genuine concern. Still, being bombarded with them can be overwhelming. So, it is up to you to decide whether or not you want to share that information and who you choose to disclose. Nothing is wrong with telling someone you’d rather not discuss your circumstances.

Remember, your job is not to please anyone but preserve your mental health and do what feels best for you. This experience is yours and no one else’s.

5. There is support.

Losing a loved one and dealing with grief can leave a survivor feeling incredibly alone. In comparison, others may not want anything to do with people and will isolate themselves. However, it’s essential to take some time to surround yourself with people during such a delicate stage. So, try spending time with a friend or family member or attending a bereavement support group.

Attending a support group for others with similar circumstances can be a helpful way to get your thoughts, feelings, and emotions out. You might also learn how other members handle their grief and gain insight and new coping mechanisms.

In addition, if you prefer to join a support group for the general population, one such place is Barty’s Adventures. They hold special events and adventures to help men feel better about themselves by keeping active, thus improving mental health. Barty – We Are A Mental Health Initiative

6. Seek grief counselling.

Coping with intense emotions and exhaustive grief can affect anyone’s mental wellness. You may find yourself depressed or struggling to get through the day. Therefore, seeking counselling might be something to consider. A therapist can provide the necessary tools to work through the grief stages and help you cope more effectively.

Attending online therapy through BetterHelp.com/Barty might also be more beneficial, as you can communicate with your therapist from the comfort of your home. Plus, their services can be more affordable than traditional therapy.

To receive 25% off your first month, head to BetterHelp.com/Barty

Feel free to drop by if you’d like to chat and just say, ‘Hey Barty,’ in strict confidence, and you can be anonymous if you wish. Or do not hesitate to leave a question in the comments section below at any time.

Resources Are Available

There are more resources on suicide and survivors of suicide than ever before, so please reach out and don’t go it alone.

Sandy Glover


Sandy is the resident mental health professional at Barty. She previously worked as a therapist, earning a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in counselling. Sandy has transitioned to becoming a peer presenter at several mental health settings through NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Her passion for mental health is evident in her writing as a subject matter expert who draws from personal experience, professional expertise, and education to help eliminate stigma.

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